Fighting waste with Fortunate Food
Author: Josh Cole
Fortunate Food Co is part of the growing ‘food rescue’ sector that takes food bound for landfill and redistributes it. Fortunate Food works with suppliers and retailers such as Woolworths to take ‘off-spec’ fruit and make it into chutneys sold in markets and cafes around Sydney.
The project stems from UNSW’s Enactus organisation which connects students with leaders in business and academia to empower their communities. One of the project’s founders, Nancy Chen, describes Fortunate Food as more than a boutique food brand.
“Our ultimate mission is to reduce the harmful environmental contribution that surplus produce has when it unnecessarily heads to landfills.”
Food waste is a worldwide problem, with Australia alone sending an estimated 4 million tonnes to landfill each year, or enough to fill 8,400 bathtubs. At the household level, it’s thought that Australians are throwing out the equivalent of $3,800 in groceries a year.
This waste turns to methane in landfill, which is 25 to 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, making efforts to cut back on food waste a factor in climate change as well.
Consumers are uniquely placed to help with this problem by supporting the sale of oddly-shaped or ‘ugly’ fruit and vegetables, through existing programs at stores such as Harris Farm Markets and Woolworths as well as by asking their local store to accept more produce.
They can also support other food rescue groups such as OzHarvest which use rescued food to support charities around Australia as well as to stock Australia’s first rescued food supermarket in Sydney – The OzHarvest Market.
- Buy less attractive/’odds and ends’ fruits and vegetables at the supermarket – Harris Farm Markets and Woolworths sells these as ‘Imperfect Picks’ and ‘Odd Bunch’ respectively
- Ask your local supermarket to stock ugly produce if they aren’t already
- Donate to food rescue groups like OzHarvest
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